Ice cream man converts London bus into mobile grocery shop for isolated communities
PUBLISHED: 16:22 18 October 2020 | UPDATED: 16:22 18 October 2020
Neil Didsbury/Archant 2020
An ice cream man is diversifying his business in a bid to help isolated residents in smaller communities around south Norfolk and Waveney.
Craig Trickett, owner of Jim’s South Norfolk Ice Cream, will hit the road this week in a former London bus which has been converted into a mobile grocery shop.
The mobile store will sell essentials including fruits, vegetables, milk, bread and bakery goods, as well as meats, cheese, sweets and ice creams.
The 56-year-old said: “During lockdown we went out with out ice cream van delivering fruit and vegetables to people who were isolating and couldn’t get out to the shops.
“Once everything calmed down a little bit we started doing our ice cream rounds as normal but we kept getting asked for fruit and vegetables because some people still didn’t want to go outside.
“It is quite cool and I don’t think there is anything like it around here anymore. I remember there used to be one years ago but not for a long time.
“We are going to be taking it around south Norfolk.”
Taking to the road for the first time on Monday, the store will visit Earsham, Bungay, Ditchingham, Kirby Row, Ellingham, Geldeston, Gillingham, Hales, Loddon, Chedgrave, Thurton, Bergh Apton and Alpington, while rounds for following days will be announced the day before on the Jims - South Norfolk Ice Cream Facebook page.
Shoppers will also be able to place orders for delivery for the following week.
Mr Trickett said: “So far we have had a really, really good reaction from customers and people on Facebook.
“It has just been so amazing.
“We go out in the mobile grocery shop for the first time on Monday (October 19) and it is really exciting.
“The old London bus really looks the part and it has a solar powered system inside to keep the fridges running.
“It is also nice and roomy inside so we’re able to fit quite a lot in.”
The store will also showcase the best of the local area.
Mr Trickett said: “We have local suppliers for everything.
“A lot of the fruit and vegetables are straight from local farms and we’re using a local bakery in Flixton too.”
The ice cream vans will continue to be running as normal when the weather allows.
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